Review or Not To Review?

Does your firm have a Facebook page? If so, you should know what page type you selected when you set it up. Different features are available on your firm’s Facebook page depending on what category you select, and each has their own advantages. To find out what type you have, sign into your page, click on About, and then click Page Info on the left. Under category, it likely says either “Local Businesses” or “Companies & Organizations.”

Click to enlarge image

Selecting “Local Business” as your page type allows you to have a map and contact information displayed. It also allows you to enter your practice areas as subcategories and displays them prominently over your cover photo. These features are not available if you choose “Companies & Organizations”. The “Local Business” option also creates a Ratings and Reviews section, meaning that anyone can leave a review or give you star ratings. You may want to have this feature if you’re practicing consumer law since good reviews on Facebook mean more clients. If you’d rather not let clients be able to leave reviews, switch the category to Companies & Organizations.

You can change your page type category as often as you’d like. To do so go to your page and click the “About” section. Mouse over next to “Category” so the blue “Edit” pencil appears.

 

Click “Edit” and then change your category from the dropdown menu. In this example my page is currently a Local Business, and I want to change it to a Company & Organization.

Page Categories

 

When you’re finished, click “Save Changes” and your new page features will take effect.

How many days do I have again?

It’s hard to calculate how many days are between a certain day and another, especially if they are far apart. If your deadline to file a motion is 60 days before your hearing date on October 12th, 2015, what date is that? Luckily, there are several ways to determine that calculation. We’re going to cover Excel, Outlook, and a web tool called Timeanddate.com.

If you frequently need to keep track of court calendar deadlines, services like Deadlines.com (formerly Deadlines on Demand) or Juralaw (if you practice in Illinois) can keep the dates straight for a price. There are several ways to count how many days for free, however, and best of all you can use these tricks for all your deadlines—not just court specific ones.

 

The first is with Excel. In cell A1 type the date of your hearing: 10/12/2015. In cell B1 type “=A1-60” and hit enter. Excel will calculate the date automatically, changing the cell contents to say “8/13/2015.” If the date of your hearing changes, replace the date in cell A1 and the date of your filing deadline will automatically change with it.

excel screenshot

 

To find out if that date falls on a weekend, click cell B1, go to the cell formatting drop down menu under the Home tab and select “Long Date.”

long date excel spreadsheet

 

The cell data will change to tell you what day of the week 8/13/2015 is. In this example it is Thursday, but if it were on a weekend you could adjust your deadline as needed.

If you don’t have Excel handy, you can also add or subtract a date on the web. Timeanddate.com has several different calendaring calculators. Use their date calculator to add or subtract from a date. Still using the example of 60 days until your hearing date on 10/12/2015, enter 10/12/2015 as your start date. Select “(-) Subtract” from the dropdown menu, and enter “60” under “Days.”

subtractdateweb

Press “Calculate new date.” The result will be “Thursday, August 13, 2015.” Timeanddate.com also features calculators to determine the number of days between two dates, time duration between exact times and finding the week number of any date.

Finally, there’s Outlook.

Enter the October 12, 2015 hearing for your client on your calendar. After the appointment is on your schedule, bring up the Go To Date box by right clicking the date (or typing Ctrl – G if you’re a keyboard shortcuts person).

hearing for my client

In the box that appears, place your cursor before the date and type “60 days before”

60 days before

Press OK, and you will be brought to August 13, 2015, where you can now enter a new event for your motion filing deadline. You can also find out dates in the future by typing “x days after.”

Get on Track (With Track Changes)

Microsoft Word provides a handy feature for document collaboration called “Track Changes”. Used by professionals the world over, this functionality has many benefits and a few pitfalls. For instance, when receiving a document that has Track Changes enabled it is often difficult to read because of all the markup. Did you know that you can make it much easier to focus on important text changes by going to “Show Markup” and uncheck “Formatting”?

Turn off formatting markup in Track Changes

Turn off formatting markup in Track Changes

Track Changes with no format tracking is much easier to read

Track Changes with no format tracking is much easier to read

When you send out a document with Track Changes enabled you can click on the arrow in the Track Changes button and select “Change Tracking Options” to toggle off “Track Formatting” so your collaborator can have a cleaner copy of the changes too!

Turn off formatting in Track Changes when sending a tracked document

Turn off formatting in Track Changes when sending a tracked document

What if you forgot to turn on “Track Changes” when you sent out a document and now you want to see if there are changes in the returned document? No problem! In the Review tab, Compare group click Compare and choose “Compare” to do a side by side blackline of your document versus the one you’ve just received. In the options you can toggle off all formatting differences so you will have a clean comparison of the differences in the text, without formatting adding an unnecessary layer of complexity.

Options for Document Comparison

Options for Document Comparison

Compare feature show blackline, plus original and updated document in three panes

Compare feature show blackline, plus original and updated document in three panes

Want to learn more about using Track Changes? Check out this useful article from PC World article “How to track changes in Microsoft Word without going insane”.

How to unshorten and shorten links

unshortmeYou might be familiar with shortened links from social media or email. They’re handy for keeping things tidy and within a character limit, but you can’t see what you’re clicking on. What if the link is malicious or just a waste of time? Turn that short link into a long link with unshort.me and see where you’re going. Copy and paste the short URL into the text box, and the site will expand it for you. A Chrome extension is available, allowing you to right-click and unshorten any short link you see on the web.

Conversely, you may want to shorten links, either to make a character limit or clean up an email. For instance, the URL or link for the 2012 Law Practice Management & Tech Tips for Lawyers program is http://www.chicagobar.org/source/Meetings/cMeetingFunctionDetail.cfm?section=Calendar&product_major=C8215W&functionstartdisplayrow=1. Instead, to get to the same webpage you can shorten the link with Bit.ly to: http://bit.ly/1EaKaU7.  The first link is long, can’t really be read to someone, it breaks onto a new line, and is cumbersome. Bit.ly neatens it up.

bitly

There are many URL shorteners available for free on the web, such as ow.ly, goo.gl, and the originator of this technology, tinyurl.com, but Bit.ly has some really useful features. It has browser plugins for all major browsers so it is always available in one click.  You can also add notes to the link, create link bundles (see: http://bitly.com/bundles/catherinereach/3), create private links, share via email in one click, and also track whether people have clicked on the link. Finally, you can customize the link so the above Bit.ly link (http://bit.ly/1EaKaU7) can be: http://bit.ly/2015techtips.

Check it out and get your free account at http://bitly.com

Know What You Are Sending (With A Little Help) in MS Word

Microsoft can warn you  before sending, saving or printing a document with comments or tracked changes

Microsoft can warn you before sending, saving or printing a document with comments or tracked changes

Eighteen jurisdictions have ethics opinions on metadata.  All of them suggest that a lawyer who is sending an electronic document should take reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure of confidential information. While technically not metadata, the comments and tracked changes in a Microsoft Word document do present a significant opportunity to unintentionally expose  confidential information.  There are many ways to remove and reduce exposure of metadata, but one very important aspect is that the sender is aware of what is being sent. In some cases you may fully intend to send a document with comments and tracked changes.

Whether intentional or not, a notification that a document you are saving, sending, or printing has tracked changes or comments could be useful.  Fortunately you can do exactly that with a setting in MS Word.  In Word 2010-13 go to File – Options – Trust Center – Trust Center Settings – Privacy Options and check the box that says “Warn before printing, saving, or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments”.

Once this option is checked if you click to save or save as, print to a physical printer or to PDF,  save to PDF or use a PDF conversion tool like Acrobat or Nuance, or use any command under the “Save and Send” menu you will get a warning that the document has either comments and/or tracked changes and asks you to click yes to continue.  However, the warning system is fallible because if you attach the file from an email program, such as MS Outlook you will get no notice.

How to Securely Use Dropbox in a Legal Environment

To view this post, you must be an active CBA member.

Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile in 2 Steps

LPMT Tip of the Month (January)

Got a LinkedIn profile? Maximize your efforts by doing two things.

1.) Go into Accounts & Settings – Privacy & Settings and click “Manage”.

privacysettings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under “Helpful Links” click “Edit Your Public Profile”.

editpublicprofile

On the page that appears in the right column click on the pencil icon under “Your public profile URL”.

customurledit

 

 

 

 
Now, change the link to your personal profile from a generic link to one you choose.

typeinyourname

 

 

 

 

 

2.) Add your new public profile URL to your email signature block.

signatureblock

 

 

 

 

 

Voila, you’ll be connecting with more people in no time.

Technology Education at the Chicago Bar – May 2014

Computer learningFree How To… Sessions (Non-CLE)

CBA How To… sessions are crafted to provide you with an overview of a particular product, service or solution to a common law practice management question. These classes are delivered live, and via webcast online.

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 

How To…Optimize Your Website for Mobile Phones
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Read Description & Register:    CBA Webcast

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

How To…Evaluate Cloud Case Management Systems
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person   CBA Webcast

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

How To…Billing and Accounting Reports
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person   CBA Webcast

 

Hands On Training (Non-CLE) $25.00 for CBA Members 

CBA Hands On Training classes are small group learning sessions open to all skill levels. Chelsey Lambert or Catherine Sanders Reach will lead you through a one hour course designed to equip you with the skills you need to accomplish or improve daily tasks.

05/13/2014 Optimizing Your Linkedln Profile (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/14/2014 Google Search Like a Pro (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/15/2014 Creating a Monthly Email Newsletter (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/21/2014 Basic Adobe Acrobat for Lawyers (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/22/2014 Intermediate Adobe Acrobat for Lawyers (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/28/2014 Optimizing Your Linkedln Profile (Hands’ On Training)
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person 
05/29/2014 Google Search Like a Pro (Hands’ OnTraining)Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Read Description & Register:   In-Person

 

Can’t make it to class?

Take advantage of the CBA’s free How To… video library. Every how To… session is recorded and available one to two weeks after the session’s original air date.

 

 

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